Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family. The weather is ideal, the kids have their summer break from school, and it doesn’t take much preparation to go out and start having fun.
However, amid all the excitement, it is essential to practice some caution in order to avoid getting into accidents and incurring injuries while playing. Let’s talk about how to avoid sports injuries so that you can have a fun and injury-free summer.
Know the Potential Cause of Summer Sports Injuries
Sports injuries tend to occur because of trauma or overuse involving the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. While we think of sports injuries as due to a traumatic episode, overuse injuries are actually more common even in sports.
Such as with tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and pitcher’s arm, overuse injuries happen when the body is pushed past its limits due to repetitive and accumulated strain. Factors that contribute to overuse include poor technique, lack of warming up or cooling down, and ignoring the need to take a break when you begin to feel pain or pressure.
Set Achievable Goals
Recognizing our current limitations is essential to avoiding injury this summer and all year long. Set realistic and obtainable goals, then gradually increase your activities as you improve. This can help you avoid the desire to push past your limits and can therefore decrease your risk of injuries.
Once you set your goals, the planning follows – especially if you are about to try out a new sport, routine, or technique. Create a plan that includes strengthening the necessary muscles, stretching for flexibility, and cardiovascular exercise for endurance.
Likewise, remember to be mindful of your pace. Take your time, and do not push yourself too hard, too quickly. This way, you will be able to reach your fitness goals without an injury slowing you down this summer.
Always Warm Up and Cool Down
It is tempting to just go out and start playing without warming up first, but even just a pickup game of basketball in the driveway can result in an injury this summer without a quick warm-up beforehand. Warming up loosens the muscles so that you can prevent strains. Simple warm-ups include walking and stretching.
Cooling down afterward is also important so that your muscles don’t get too tight after a game or after exercise. Even if you must sit down because you are tired, move and stretch your arms, legs, and torso to cool down.
Wear Protective Gear
Always wear appropriate protective gear such as helmets, pads, and proper shoes. This can not only improve your performance but it can also decrease your risk and impact of an injury.
Treating Summer Sports Injuries in Dover, NJ
Here at the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, we understand the importance of avoiding sports injuries, because getting injured can really ruin a summer. But if you do get injured, we know how to help you heal and get back into the game as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions about the services we offer, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our sports physicians, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (973) 989-0888 or by filling out our online form now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner for optimum health and fitness!